Baby Born With Heart Outside Of Her Chest Defies The Odds

Baby born with heart outside body 'doing well'

Known as ectopia cordis, the baby's condition was first discovered nine weeks into the pregnancy, where her mother, Naomi Findlay was shown how the baby's heart and part of her stomach were growing on the outside of her body.

Doctor's told the parents the first ten minutes of Vanellope's life on earth would be the most crucial.

She met the 50 doctors, midwives and nurses who were split into four teams to deliver the baby, keep the mother safe and carry out the complex heart surgery.

"We chose to fight to give our daughter the best chance of surviving", Mr Wilkins said.

The doctors at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, successfully moved her heart back inside her chest. Doctors advised Naomi Findlay, of Nottingham, England, to abort her unborn daughter after they said Vanellope had "next to zero" chance of survival.

She was due on Christmas Eve, but her condition-ectopia cordis-meant she had to be born early by cesarean section.

Frances Bu'Lock, consultant paediatric cardiologist said: "Before she was born things looked very bleak but now they are quite a lot better - Vanellope is doing really well and has proved very resilient".

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Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Nick Moore added: "We transferred baby Vanellope to our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit where she will need to stay for at least several weeks, with her family by her side, while she hopefully gets strong enough, and big enough, for her heart to be placed fully within her chest and covered in her own skin".

Expectant mother Naomi Findlay, 31, recalled: 'I burst into tears.

Vanellope Hope Wilkins might be the first in the United Kingdom to survive after being born with her heart outside of her body. Babies born with the condition often have less than a 10 percent chance of survival.

"Later on we might have the capacity to put in some inward hard security for her heart - maybe utilizing 3D printing or something natural that would develop with her". "I felt hopeless and just held onto Naomi and was staring into her eyes praying that it was all going to be ok".

Minutes after her birth, the little girl was wrapped in a sterile plastic bag to protect against infection.

After more operations, in two weeks the heart naturally made its way back into the chest following gravity.

East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre lead surgeon Branko Mimic was, however, pragmatic about the birth, saying that her case is very rare because everything else appears normal.

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Vanellope has already beaten odds of eight-in-one-million to have the condition and survive until birth.

Mr Wilkins, a builder, said: 'The moment she was born, I realised that we had made the right decision.

'I genuinely didn't think my baby would survive, but the staff at Glenfield have been unbelievable.

"We know this is going to be a rollercoaster and have started to prepare ourselves for the hard times ahead, but we needed to give her a chance, and the team here have done that".

"Vanellope in the film is so stubborn and she turns into a princess at the end, so it was so fitting", she said.

"I did a quick Google search, as everyone does, and then more of a literature search but that didn't inform me an bad lot because there's not much to go on and the cases are all very different".

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